Josh Duggar Update: Sentencing Hearing Sets a Date Following Guilty Verdict
Josh Duggar has been scheduled to be officially sentenced in April after the 19 Kids and Counting alum was convicted last year of federal child pornography charges. Duggar, whose family would go on to film Counting On before its cancellation last year, was convicted in December 2021 of one count each of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse materials. Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each count.
U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks scheduled Duggar's sentencing for April 5 in Fayetteville on Tuesday, ABC reports. Federal authorities began investigating Duggar initially after a Little Rock, Arkansas police detective found child sexual abuse material files were being shared by a computer traced to Duggar at the car dealership he owned, which a federal agent would later testify depicted the sexual abuse of children, including toddlers.
Duggar's attorneys have filed for a new trial or acquittal, arguing at trial that someone else had downloaded the images onto his computer. Duggar has been behind bars awaiting sentencing since his conviction, which came just weeks after the birth of his seventh child with wife Anna Duggar. Duggar is father to seven children ranging from 12 to 2 months old. Anna issued a brief statement in support for her husband to Instagram on Feb. 3, writing, "There is more to the story."
Duggar previously made headlines in 2015 when resurfaced court documents revealed he molested five underage girls, four of whom were relatives, between 2002 and 2003 when he was 14 and 15 years old. "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends," he said in a statement via Facebook at the time. "We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."
Several of Duggar's family members have spoken out since he was convicted, including sisters Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth, Jill Duggar Dillard, Jessa Duggar Seewald and Jinger Duggar Vuolo and their respective husbands. "After seeing all the evidence as it was presented, we believe that the jury reached a just verdict today, consistent with the truth beyond a reasonable doubt," the Dillards wrote in a statement at the time. "Josh's actions have rippled far beyond the epicenter of the offense itself. Children have scars, but his family is also suffering the fallout of his actions."